This is the sixth article of my weekly series "What People Are Saying about the Baltimore Orioles.
This week, several topics are covered, including rookie Brian Matusz, the player to be named later in the Zaun deal, key questions for the Birds, and more. Let's see what people had to say.
MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko grades rookie southpaw Brian Matusz:
"We've seen the good, bad and mediocre from Orioles rookie left-hander Brian Matusz.
I'm giving him a "mediocre" grade tonight because, though he allowed four earned runs (five total), they all came in the third inning. He walked three - again, all in the same inning - and struck out seven."
- Also from MASNsports.com, Steve Melewski reports on the "State of the Orioles" address given by President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail:
"MacPhail was asked about Rhyne Hughes, the player the O's got today as the player to be named later for Gregg Zaun.
AM - "We were able to finish that deal today and acquire a left-handed hitting first baseman that was with Tampa's Triple-A club named Rhyne Hughes. He went to the Fall League last fall and was at Double-A and Triple-A this year. Between the two he's hitting about .285 with 22 home runs and 72 RBI and 30 doubles. He's kind of a late bloomer. We had two scouts see him recently and we think he has a chance to be a productive player."
- Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun believes the O's still have plenty to play for this season:
"What you are going to see at Oriole Park is a team going in two directions at the same time. The youth movement is going full steam ahead, with many of the top minor league prospects already here and - for the most part—holding their own. The veteran nucleus of the team, meanwhile, has seemed for the past month as if it's ready to pack up and go home."
- Dan Connolly of The Sun writes a heartfelt story regarding third base prospect Josh Bell and the memory of his late father:
"There's no coincidence that the body art memorializing Bruce Bell - the cross, the halo, the angel wings, the doves and the clouds - adorns the entire right arm of the Orioles' newly anointed third baseman of the future.
Bell threw 90 mph in practice as a high school sophomore. Scouts still rave about the cannon attached to his right shoulder.
And so Bell, who has lost count of his tattoos, believed there was no better place to honor the man who had sacrificed so much for him.
"I felt like the right side was the spot for it," Bell said. "It's my dominant side. And I want him on my dominant side."
- Zach Wilt of the Baltimore Sports Report wonders what's going on with the Birds:
"So what’s wrong in Birdland? Granted the pitching has been bad.
The Orioles lead the AL in homeruns allowed with 144 and their team ERA is over five on the current homestand.
They aren’t hitting well with runners in scoring position, .163 over the last five games, but the numbers still favor them winning.
In their 26 games since the break they have held the lead in 15 of those games.
So to answer my question, I have no idea what’s wrong in Birdland.
Are they lacking that killer instinct?
Could they use a winning veteran to mentor these young guys?
Is Baltimore under performing?
Sorry, I don’t have an answer for you."
Bleacher Report's Dean Hybl posts five key questions regarding the Orioles:
"As the Baltimore Orioles complete another disappointing season and prepare for 2010, there are five key questions that team president Andy MacPhail must answer."